North Korea likely continued smuggling coal in January despite border lockdown
Known North Korean vessels, which frequented a coal-smuggling hotspot in summer 2020, reappeared last month
As North Korea’s lockdown continued with no signs of letting up, the country’s fleet showed only modest movements in January, with two voyages indicating potential coal smuggling trips on Automatic Identification System (AIS) data.
January saw a return of the known North Korean vessel alias KS1, which was previously active during the summer of 2020 as it traveled to and from Nampho in the DPRK to a popular coal-smuggling hotspot off the Zhoushan Islands in China.
An analysis of location-based AIS ship transmissions from Jan. 5-31 showed that the fleet linked to North Korea
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